Even though healthy nails may seem like the least of your senior loved one’s concerns, natural changes to aging nails make seniors more susceptible discoloration, splitting, cracking, dry skin, slow growth, ingrown nails, and fungus. Help your loved one maintain strong, healthy nails with these nail care solutions from Summit Home Care Assistance.
1. Hydrate Often
Nails naturally get brittle with age. Soaking the nails for 15 minutes in a cup or shallow bowl of phospholipid-rich emollients such as vitamin E oil or cuticle oil can help restore hydration to the nails. Repeat once or twice daily as needed.
2. Soak in Warm Saline
A warm saline soak can help treat acute or chronic nail fold infection (otherwise known as paronychia), which can cause painful pus buildups. Using table salt or Epsom salt, soak the nails in fifteen-minute increments once or twice daily for ideal results.
3. Keep Them Dry
After washing hands, doing the dishes, or any sort of hydrating, pat the nails dry with a washcloth or paper towel. After drying, apply anti-fungal cream and antiseptic agents to help ward off infections, swollen nail folds, and cuticle loss.
4. Shape and File Them
By using a nail file and clippers to keep nails cut short, shaped, and free of snags, your loved one lessens the chance of having his or her nails hooked on something, avoiding possible injury and infection.
5. Do Not Use as a Tool
Using nails for toothpicks or to cut through plastic can cause damage to the nail and nail bed itself, as well as the surrounding skin on the fingers and hand.
Maintaining daily hygiene habits can become challenging in the golden years, but there is no reason for you loved one to sacrifice self-care. Enlist the help of a Summit hourly caregiver from Home Care Assistance and provide your senior loved one the help he or she needs on a daily basis. Our part-time caregivers can help with bathing, grooming, and incontinence, as well as light housekeeping, cooking, and running errands. Call 908.450.9400 to speak with a friendly Care Manager and schedule a free in-home consultation.